2023-2024 Catalog

ASN 252 To Dwell or to Wander: Reading Confucius and Zhuangzi

This course will focus on two foundational texts of Chinese civilization: The Analects and the Zhuangzi. The Analects is an ancient Chinese book composed of a collection of sayings attributed to Confucius and his disciples, and is traditionally regarded as one of the central texts of Confucianism. Zhuangzi, named for its traditional author, “Master Zhuang” (Zhuangzi), is one of the most important Daoist writings. When the Analects emphasizes that people should reconcile their desires via rituals, and fulfill moral and personal duties in order to ensure the welfare of the society, Zhuangzi promotes carefree wandering and following one’s own nature. By reading and comparing these two texts, this course will help students understand and grasp their central concerns, philosophies, and substantial influences on Chinese and East Asian thought and values throughout history. Classes follow a lecture-discussion format, so students must finish all assigned readings in advance and prepare to actively participate in class discussion. No knowledge of the Chinese language or of Chinese history is required (or assumed).


4 units

Cross Listed Courses

CSLC 252

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus
  • Pre-1800